Page:Historical Lectures and Addresses.djvu/41

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ing an impulse to some, or quickening the interest of others, his ultimate object should be to catch a few who may become genuine students. There is much to be done, much to be investigated, there is room for labourers of almost every kind. In the field of history I think that there are some amongst those who go forth from this place who might be encouraged to devote their leisure to work that might be fruitful. The highest result of a professor's labours would be the formation of a small class of those who were willing to prolong their university course, that they might study methods of research, that they might begin some work which would be capable of expansion into a worthy contribution to historical literature. There should be no part of his work more gratifying to himself than that of giving counsel and advice to such students in later years, suggesting subjects, revising their pages for publication, encouraging them by all means to persevere. I need not say that for this purpose a professor must be above all things a diligent student himself. Perhaps the most powerful influence that he can exert is the example of a life devoted to the pursuit of knowledge. Nor should he put any narrow limits upon his possibility of usefulness to other students. This great University forms a part of the great commonwealth of letters, and its professors should feel themselves bound to promote literary comity, and be a connecting link between fellow-workers wherever they may be. Many a retiring student labours on in ignorance of what is being done by others, and is glad of information about books or manuscripts, which it should be a professor's task to acquire and disseminate.